On Saturday, we attended an Annie Proulx lecture, part of the UNM Summer Sunset series. After years of Wyoming conservatism, narrow-mindedness, bad food (her notes) and winters of frigid, howling winds (my note — I despised the wind while living there), Annie has decided to make Albuquerque her home. Or, she’s trying to; her library of 5,000 books makes for an onerous move. In any case, she spent much of the evening praising New Mexico food, especially compared with the “wretched fodder” found up north. Wyoming’s restaurants, she chuckled, sparked her interest in home cooking.
“I like to cook and as you can see, I like to eat,” she said. She enjoys shopping at some of the same markets we doâ€”La Montanita, Talin, Keller’s. And she finds Albuquerque’s restaurants preferable to the “tourist mosh pits” of Santa Fe. “Sad to say, I’ve found most Santa Fe restaurants over-praised,” she said.
Food isn’t her only lure to Albuquerque. Proulx loves the way the Sandias hug the city’s east side, and she appreciates the volcanoes to the west. She noted an abundance of independent and used bookstoresâ€”more and better shops between Albuquerque and Santa Fe than in New York, she said. And she cheered the open-minded, thinking people who live in this city. Proulx is intrigued by the area’s diversity and its heritage. “There is little more pleasurable than learning a new place and its history,” she said.